Chart of the Day: Delayed payments perceived as top hiccup for SMEs

The services and transport/storage sectors registered the highest occurrence of late payments.

This chart from Experian shows that the biggest struggle that half of SMEs had to contend with during the events of COVID-19 is late payments from their customers

This is followed by cancelled orders at 42% and cash flow challenges at 41%. The services and transport/storage sectors registered the highest occurrence of late payments from customers, affecting 73% and 70% of SMEs in each respective industry. Experian says that this comes on the back of disruption to global business operations and supply chains, leading to delayed shipments and deliveries and impacting payment timelines

Meanwhile, hospitality/F&B (63%) and retail (47%) SMEs had cancelled orders as their top concern. This was likely due to decreased customer footfall in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which was later compounded by elevated social distancing measures that were part of the circuit breaker.

The top concern of SMEs in the wholesale (37%) and construction (32%) sectors involved settling outstanding supplier invoices before they were due. 

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